What is Fertility Counselling?

Embarking on fertility treatments is a complicated, lengthy and stressful process. Fertility counselling is an opportunity for you to explore and discuss any emotional difficulties, fears and anxieties that you and your partner may experience during your journey into parenthood. It will help you in understanding the process and to adjust to your new circumstances.

Who Can Have Fertility Counselling?

We offer implications, support, and therapeutic counselling. This is for anyone undergoing treatment whether on your own or with a partner. Anyone considering donating sperm, eggs or becoming a surrogate will benefit from exploring their thoughts and feelings. We offer an empathic, non-judgemental and safe space for you to explore your situation as a whole to reduce the associated emotional strain.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) considers fertility counselling to be a key element in fertility services. Fertility treatments can cause complex psychological and social issues for those involved. The HFEA Act 1990 requires counselling to be offered before treatment starts. This should be offered by your chosen clinic. However, it may be easier for you to have regular counselling closer to home.

Types of Fertility Counselling

When having fertility treatment you will come across many different types of counselling. Depending on your personal circumstances and your treatment plan, you may benefit from the following:

  • Support Counselling
  • Therapeutic counselling
  • Implications counselling

Everyone is unique and their counselling needs will be different so please contact us to discuss the best option for you.

Support Counselling

Water ripples photoFertility treatments can be extremely emotional and many people compare it to like being on an emotional rollercoaster. Often it can feel like nobody understands what you are going through and you’re alone in your feelings and experiences. These kinds of feelings can in turn have a ripple effect and impact on your relationships with your partner, family members, and friends.

Support counselling can be a great opportunity to explore your feelings, coping strategies, options, and relationship issues. It also provides an opportunity to help you cope, make choices, and change aspects of your situation. The support is to help you adjust and consider both the short-term and the long-term implications of fertility treatment.

It may be that you require support at different stages of treatment. Contact us and together we can assess when would be the best time for you to have support counselling during your fertility treatment journey.

Therapeutic Counselling

Therapeutic counselling is used to work through issues surrounding your unique situation. Unfortunately fertility treatments don’t always have the positive outcome you were hoping for. In these circumstances fertility counselling will give you the chance to talk with a specialist trained counsellor. It will give you the space so you can explore how you are feeling individually and as a couple, and what your options are going forwards. Taking the time to process these feelings is extremely important and we provide you a safe and confidential environment to do this. It’s good to talk to someone who isn’t directly involved in your treatment.

Implications Counselling

Have you thought about what the long term and short term implications are when using donor sperm, eggs, embryos or a surrogate? Are you thinking of becoming a donor or surrogate? Have you thought about the implications it could have on your future?

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) require that those who are donating or using donated sperm, embryos, or eggs or anyone involved in surrogacy arrangements to have implications counselling.

You are offered a confidential, non-judgemental space where you can come and talk about your donation with a Specialist Implications Counsellor. Implications counselling is not, in any way, an assessment of you or your choices — it’s simply an opportunity to talk through your proposed treatment with someone who is trained in implications counselling.

The aim of implications counselling is for you to explore and understand the proposed course of treatment. Not only for yourselves but for your family and any children born as a result of your treatment. At least one session of implications counselling is recommended before consenting to any proposed treatment.

To help you understand a little more about implications counselling, the following may be discussed depending upon your specific situation:

  • How you and your partner feel about the proposed treatment.
  • The impact of the proposed treatment on any existing children.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of openness—for example, who will you tell?
  • What are the attitudes of family and friends to the proposed treatment.
  • Thoughts and concerns about the future child where one parent is not the genetic parent.
  • What, when and how to tell a child—Openness, secrecy and honesty.
  • Exploring the child’s need for supportive parenting, support within the family and wider social circle. Short and long term management for single parenthood and the changing needs of a child.
  • The importance of appointing a guardian, seeking legal advice and making a will.
  • The legalities and implications of egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy, both in the UK and abroad.
  • Short and long-term implications of surrogacy/anonymous donation/known donation.

Contact us to see how we can help you.

Useful Resources

Counselling Directory about infertility

HFEA: Getting emotional support/counselling

National Fertility Society link

NHS: Getting started with IVF

The National Fertility Society books are for 3 to 4 year olds to help explain to them fertility outcomes. The books explain in very simple terms giving you a platform to make the discussion normal for them and allowing you to expand the conversation with them and explain further. Click any picture for further information.

I Want A Family – With Help From Donor Sperm IUI We Want A Family – With Help From Donor Sperm We Want A Family – With Help From Donor Eggs and Surrogacy Daddy and Daddy Want a Family I Want A Family – With Help From Donor Sperm IVF Mummy and Mummy Want a Family My Family Are We Want A Family – Donor Eggs We Want A Family – IVF We Want a Family – Surrogacy We Want A Family – With Help From Donor Eggs and Sperm